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Can/Do IsolationTransformers Enhance the Sound?


thebes
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Our good friend Maynard, (TubeFanatic) is lending me his knowledge to rebuild a 1946 tabletop radio. Says I have to buy a Isolation Transformer. He considers it a safety measure. Pah! Apparently, he's one of the few here, including myself, who doesn't enjoy my tales of being launched across the room on a wave of 500 volt jolt, as routinely happens when I attempt electronic anything.

So I find a Trip LIte Isolation gizmo locally, less than a year old, and half the price of new. For $80 bills I've got this very heavy metal box. The parts for the radio are on order and not here yet, so I think to myself, why not run my stereo through it.

To my mind things sound better. Now, a caveat, it could be the Monster power conditioner I've been using for all my power connections, or just simply the fact that I've moved some wires. Maybe caused by phases of the moon, run amok imagination, what have you.Or it could be that the iso transformer has something called a Faraday Cage and is simply locking up the bad electrons until they sober up.

In any event, given the fact that these things are widely available from a number of sources for under $200 smackers, a mere pittance in audiophile terms, why am I not hearing more about them?

Or is it my imagination. Which has been know to engage itself at random.

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  • 2 weeks later...

if you could list the theories as to why using an isolation transformer on the power supply is "gooder", the theory would sound something like this.......IF...you had DC in your power mains it would cause a magnetic flux in your power trannys that would need AC to overcome, once overcomed....the tranny would function normally....this would happen during each cycle...and sometimes..this demagnification cause hum and buzzes in the tranny plates. Some componets within the amp are microphonic and can pickup these humms and buzzes. The isolation transfomer blocks DC and holds it in the isolation transformer which prevents your microphonic componets from picking up the hums and buzzes.

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I've used isolation transformers to break ground loops. Works very well. Also when working on hot chassis radios. Well worth the investment. I have not used one for any of my 2 channel rigs though.

Of course that's because I'm cheap and don't want to draw more electricity. [:|]

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Thebes: I uses to run two sets of Tice Titan/powerblock plus a microblock. Now I just run one set of Titan/powerblock and the Microblock. In my current location the line noise in the bldg. is on the high side so they help quite a bit. In my last location (suburbs) I found that the line noise was highest during peak draw periods of time. In peak draw timethe system sounded better on the transformers and during quiet time (low draw) the system sounded better off the transformers. So the answer is that it depends on the time and on local to you noise sources. There is no hard and fast yes or no answer. Best regards Moray James.

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